As I entered the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy with the twins, I could tell that things were going to be much different than my pregnancies with Natalie and Claire.
Thankfully, my morning sickness subsided for the most part. But, my belly grew quickly. Much more quickly than it had with my other pregnancies. Even though I was gaining weight at about the same rate I had in previous pregnancies. By the time I was 4 or 5 months along, I felt like I was full term! Many people feel during their 2nd trimester (months 4-6) that they aren’t feeling sick anymore, but aren’t yet too big that getting around is uncomfortable, so those months generally tend to be the most enjoyable. However, I felt like I skipped the 2nd trimester entirely. I felt like I went straight from morning sickness to being huge and awkward! It was hard to bend over, hard to roll over in bed, and in general I just felt very uncomfortable.
I took a few trips with Dan and the girls during those months. Here are a couple pictures of us in NYC on a trip we took at the end of April. At this point I would have been about 5 months along. We walked quite a bit, and I got tired pretty easily and was fairly uncomfortable, but still was able to get around.
Buying bread at an Ecuadorian bakery in Queens.
Riding the subway.
About a month later (end of May) we made another trip to NYC, and I decided that was the last of the traveling for me. We probably walked way more than I should have (due to construction on the subways) and also visited the Museum of Natural History. I had to sit down and rest quite a bit and was pretty exhausted by the end of the short trip.
In the butterfly garden at the Museum of Natural History
My friends at church had a baby shower for me right around this point, and something strange happened to me at the baby shower. I sat in a chair and opened presents during the shower, and afterwards I stood up to get ready to leave. When I did that, I felt like a muscle had pulled, right by where my left leg joins with my hip. I could stand without pain, but when I tried to lift my leg to walk, it hurt terribly and I couldn’t do it. To add insult to injury (or maybe, injury to injury!) the next morning I stubbed my toe on my right foot pretty badly. So I was laid up in the recliner for a couple days, not able to walk very well at all!
That pain in my leg would get better and worse throughout the rest of my pregnancy, but it never went away entirely. When it was bad, walking was very difficult. Another related odd symptom was that the top of my left thigh became tingly and numb. That continued throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and oddly enough, to this day that sensation has never gone away completely.
By the time I was 7 months pregnant, I had a huge belly. I found myself trying to figure out how I could minimize my walking. I wished there were “pregnancy” parking spots near the handicapped spots so I wouldn’t have to walk so far at the grocery store. I remember shopping for Natalie and Claire’s school supplies at the beginning of July and could barely walk around the store to complete my shopping.
About 7 1/2 months pregnant here
By the time they scheduled my date to be induced, I was DONE being pregnant. I had never felt so miserable in my life. I could barely walk. I waddled. WADDLED! I had never waddled with Natalie and Claire! Rolling over in bed was practically an Olympic event. I was so, so tired, and just ready to have those babies out of me.
Thankfully, though, despite the extreme discomfort, I stayed relatively healthy during my pregnancy. I never had to go on bedrest. My blood pressure stayed at a healthy level. I did not get gestational diabetes. I had very frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions (I remember feeling the tightening in my belly as early as 8 weeks or so!) but thankfully did not go into preterm labor. Of course, I had many more frequent ultrasounds to monitor the babies than the average pregnancy. Because the babies shared a placenta, the risk was higher that one of them would start taking more of the nutrients and growing faster than the other, so they were monitored closely.
Just a side note on type of twins: We found out our babies are what are called “Mo/Di” twins, short for Monochorionic/Diamniotic, which means that they are identical twins that came from a single egg that split after it was fertilized. They shared a placenta but had a thin membrane separating their amniotic sacs within the larger, outer sac. This type of twin pregnancy is much lower risk than babies that share an amniotic sac, and thus run the risk of their umbilical cords getting tangled.
Stacks of ultrasound pictures, brought home after every doctor’s appointment. After looking at the dates on these pictures, I think I had ultrasounds at 18, 22, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36 weeks!
My last pregnancy photo, just over 36 weeks pregnant on my last Sunday before the babies were born (I’ll do the math for you – that’s 8 months)
So, yeah, by this time I was SO ready to be done being pregnant. Ready for those babies to be out, and ready to not be pregnant anymore. If only I had known what was to come after their birth… more on that later…
(But seriously, as hard as it has been, there is no way I would wish to be pregnant again!)
Coming next, the twins’ birth story (what I can remember of it, anyway!)